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Section 9: Retrofitting and Adaptation
Installing New Transmissions in Special Applications
Retrofit swappers can use the AOD-E/4R70W or AOD in earlier 3.8L V-6, many straight 6, and most small-block V-8 applications by relocating the transmission cross-member rearward a few inches (or modifying the transmission mount) and providing control electronics (for AOD-E/4R70W), or fabricating TV linkage/cable bracketry (for AOD). As long as the engine will mate with the AOD-E/4R70W or AOD's small-block bell housing pattern, it can be used with these transmissions. It is important to use a flex-plate (automatic transmission flywheel) that is properly balanced for your engine (correct year and displacement) and will accept a full-size torque converter with an 11-3/8-inch bolt circle. Additionally, the flex plate must have a 164 tooth ring gear and should be used with the correct starter and block plate. Shift linkage and drive shaft length will vary on a case-by-case basis and may need little or no modification in some cases.
An AOD-E/4R70W may be fitted in a similar manner to the AOD with the exception of a slightly longer overall length (roughly 7/8-inch) and the absence of TV linkage. Instead of TV linkage, an electronic control system is necessary, which may consist of either an EEC system from an AOD-E/4R70W vehicle or the US Shift Electronic Transmission Control System. It is also imperative to get the correct transmission case; either a 4.6L (modular engine) case or a 5.0L (small block) case, depending upon your requirements.
For big-block or heavy-duty applications, you may wish to convert to the E4OD transmission. You will need a C-6 type flex-plate for your engine application and a transmission with the correct case style (small-block, big-block, or diesel). The drive shaft will probably require shortening and cross member and shift linkage modifications will be necessary, as described for the AOD. As with the AOD-E/4R70W, either a Ford EEC system or the US Shift Electronic Transmission Control System will be required to operate the transmission.
The A4LD, 4R44E, 4R55E, and 5R55E can be adapted to four cylinder and small-pattern 60-degree V-6 engines using guidelines similar to those for the AOD and AOD-E/4R70W, with minor exceptions. Since the A4LD uses a vacuum modulator (instead of TV linkage), a vacuum source and kick-down linkage (similar to the C-3, C-4, or C-6) is required. 4R44E, 4R55E, and 5R55E swaps will probably prove similar to A4LD conversions with the substitution of control electronics for vacuum modulator plumbing and kick-down linkage.
Read the TV Linkage section for important information about the old AOD's TV Linkage and its proper care.